Robots in RPA processes and automation
Why does robotics change everything? What in practice will this technology bring?
What comes to mind when you hear the word “robot?” In any event, you probably associate “robot” with some sort of physical entity, a substitute human made of metal, plastic, and plenty of electronic componentry. Why not. But robots that are quickly and quietly becoming an integral part of the finance function bear no resemblance to those just described.
Rather, they are arriving in the form of a technology termed “robotic process automation,” aka “RPA,” with the emphasis squarely on the “PA.”
These robots exist as software and are designed to automate a wide range of processes that tend to be repetitive, laborintensive, and rule-based. Put simply, RPA replicates any mouse and/or keyboard actions a human would do across any applications on their PC. RPA can do everything from open email and attachments to collect social media statistics to follow if/then decisions and rules. In finance, that translates into everything from recording journal entries to reconciling general ledger accounts to auditing expense reports, to cite just a few common applications. And that's just a few common applications.